Article of Faith 13 at Union Grove Primitive Baptist Church, “We believe that the punishment of the wicked will be everlasting, and the joys of the righteous will be eternal.”
When we consider what the Bible teaches about the Lord and His work of salvation on the cross, the subject of eternal judgement must be part of the study. Without a consideration of what the Lord saved them from, one may struggle to grasp what they are saved to. In this effort, I would like to offer five brief scriptural reasons why I believe in hell and the eternal judgement of God.
(1) Man is not like the beast of the field! Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:21, “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” According to Genesis 1:26, God said He made “man in our image, after our likeness:..” Man was not made to cease and be no more, but to have a continuance. Since this is true, every man from Adam to the last, is or will be somewhere; either on earth, in heaven or in hell (place of judgement).
(2) The Holiness and Justice of God! According to Deuteronomy 32:4, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Also note that Exodus 34:7 and Numbers 14:18 teach us that He “will by no means clear the guilty…” The Lord is not an unjust judge who will sweep transgressions under a rug. He will not receive a bribe to let sin and iniquity go unpunished. Since God is Holy and Just, His law must be upheld. If the Lord laid His law and justice aside to let one guilty person escape from judgement, He would cease to be Holy and Just Himself. Since no man of Adam’s race has anything to offer God to pay for sins and iniquity, the only conclusion is that every descendant of Adam is either saved by Jesus’ substitutionary death or will suffer forever in a fire of torment (not both, but one of the two). Teaching anything else will not declare the Holiness and Justice of God.
(3) The substitutionary sufferings and death of Jesus on the Cross! The Bible is clear that Jesus’ atoning death was “for” a people. Romans 5:6; 1 Peter 3:18, and 1 John 4:10 are three examples of this scriptural truth. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 tells us that Jesus “delivered us from the wrath to come.” For one to deny an eternal judgement of God would be to belittle what Jesus saved us from. Christ, on the Cross of Calvary, suffered the hell we deserved because of our sins. Christ didn’t just merely help us. He saved us from the condemnation of our sins!
(4) What the Bible has to say about the chastening of the Lord! Hebrews 12:6 reads, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” The Lord is a merciful and perfect Father in heaven. He knows how to discipline His own. I myself, have experienced His chastening and receive it as His love and care for me. If He didn’t love me, He would not chasten me. But if one were to deny an eternal judgement of the wicked, they would be forced to say that the children God loves suffer more for wrong doings than the wicked who know not God. I’m sorry, but if the reader would have compassion on the writer to say, that doesn’t make any sense to me. I cannot find any logic in that line of thinking at all.
(5) The clarity of the Bible! Jesus told us in Matthew 10:28 that there is a hell and God has the authority over it. In Matthew 25:41 He taught His disciples about the final judgement on the last day and how the wicked (non-elect) will be cast into “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” In verse 46 of this passage we read the words “eternal” and everlasting”, which are both words describing places of no ending. In Revelation 20:10-15 we read about the same judgement as Matthew 25:41-46. We read there about the wicked (“dead” in sins) who will be cast into the lake of fire.
In closing, I would ask the reader to consider three verses of scripture in the book of Revelation. Revelation 7:12, “Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.”; Revelation 14:11, “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night,…”; And Revelation 22:5, ‘And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” Notice with me the reoccurring statement, “for ever and ever” in these three verses. In Revelation 7:12 we learn the praise and glory of the Lord will be “for ever and ever”. In Revelation 22:5 we learn that the happiness and joys of the children of God will be “for ever and ever”. In Revelation 14:11 we learn the sufferings of the wicked will be “for ever and ever”. Using a King James Bible, we can understand that the praise and glory of the Lord, the happiness and joys of the children of God, and the sufferings of the wicked will be for the same length and duration of time, “for ever and ever”. Praise be to our Savior, who saved us from our sins. And if we look at Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” and see even one of these in our temporal lives, it’s evidence that we belong to Him. Amen!